author EW date 10/06/09

There have already been a few albums I’d fully recommend this year but none of them rival the release of “Lightbringer” by RAM, for its total balls-out metal strength and fantastic songwriting in a genre where most dare not be original. It really is an absolutely brilliant album. To compliment my review I submitted an interview to the band and got the following reply from guitarist Harry Granroth. Enjoy!

RF.net: Hi there, thanks for the taking the time to do an interview with Rockfreaks. Please introduce yourself and the rest of the band while you’re at it.
RAM: Hi there, this is Harry Granroth, guitarist of Swedish heavy metal band RAM, my fellow musicians are Oscar Carlquist – vocals, Daniel Johansson -guitar and Morgan Pettersson -drums. (A new bass player will be announced in the near future.)

RF.net: Let me begin by saying congratulations on the release of a quite brilliant album in “Lightbringer”. Having had no prior experiences with the band it totally outshone the average expectations I set for it. Has it turned out as good as you imagined, better, worse…?
RAM: Thank you. We are very pleased with the result. It was a long journey and we've worked our butts off. We knew it would sound good with all work put into it but the result is way better than our expectations.

RF.net: For someone like me who doesn’t know what the debut album “Forced Entry” sounds like, could you please elaborate on the differences and development from album 1 to 2 given the time span of 4 years.
RAM: On “Forced Entry“ we didn't have the time nor money to spend on the production and we had to use whatever equipment that was available at the time. For “Lightbringer“ we wanted to use the same kind of equipment that classic heavy metal albums were recorded with and we could find that in Studio Bongo in Gothenburg. Instead of using latest digital gadgets we looked for vintage analogue equipment. Also we had an outside person as a producer, Johan Reiv'en, who has worked with Hardcore Superstar.

RF.net: What does it’s release mean to you personally? Is there any songs that are more poignant to you for whatever reason?
RAM: It feels great to have it released on a serious label as AFM Records and they are doing a great job. I'm really happy about that. I think all songs have their place on the album but if I had to mention one track I'd say “Awakening the Chimaera“ which contains some very old parts that finally ended up on a recording.

RF.net: I find “Lightbringer” special because it is a take on a style that has it’s imitators at the moment, mainly German based if I may say so, but is an album where than is more than mere aping at work, resulting in it being both passionate and personal. What intentions were laid down, if any, for the sound and structures of the songs at the beginning of the writing process?
RAM: I don't think there were any intentions to make this or that kind of album at the beginning of the writing process. We write, and if the outcome fits the RAM sound, we'll use it, we don't want to limit ourselves. In the process we of course became aware of which direction we would take. Regarding the sound, we wanted this album to be recorded on similar equipment as classic heavy metal albums we grew up with. That was our aim and we found a studio for that. We took the time and spent the money and it was definitively worth it.

RF.net: “Lightbringer” is clearly an album moulded from the best of classic Metal. Which bands/albums would you say most shaped RAM’s collective decision to play such a style of music?
RAM: Our influences range from hardrock to thrash/black/old school death to melodic metal but the main thing is heavy metal from 70s/80s. Bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, MSG, Scorpions.

RF.net: Are the various RAM members of the metallic nature to keep up with whats going on in the Metal world these days? It’s easy to be pessimistic about it with so many shit acts getting a lot of attention but the style is certainly having a good period. Anyone caught your ears in particular?
RAM: I think we do have a quite good knowledge about the scene but personally I'm quite picky and have little interest in ‘modern metal’. I guess I'm traditional. Portrait from Sweden and In Solitude, also from Sweden, two promising quite new acts.

RF.net: All the time during my listens that songs like “Suomussalmi” would be immense live, I would live to see RAM onstage. Are there any plans to hit the UK and Europe in support of this new record, in clubs or festivals?
RAM: A European tour is in the works but we don't have all details yet. Countries where we have already played will most likely be visited again but I definitely hope we will be able to play in the UK as well.

RF.net: Where do you see RAM going in the near future with an album under your belts that I’m sure could take you far. Do the band members crave success as great as possible or will the band be keeping a lowly profile?
RAM: I hope we will be touring as much as possible. We want to play live everywhere. Then start to work on the next album. We certainly do not intend to keep a low profile. We want metal.

RF.net: Well that will be all for now but I hope I hear lots more from RAM in the future and catch you guys live at some point. Please depart with any final words you wish.
RAM: Thank you, See you on tour!

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